Qualifications for Licensure as a Psychologist
1. YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
It is your responsibility to know the requirements for licensure set forth in statute and regulation. To accomplish this, you must review this page and other relevant documents listed in the application for licensure as a psychologist. Failure to review and understand these documents may adversely affect application approval.
2. EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
a. Named Degrees
Section 2914 of the Business and Professions Code (Code) provides that individuals who possess an earned doctorate degree in psychology, educational psychology, education with a field of specialization in counseling psychology or education with a field of specialization in educational psychology from an approved or accredited educational institution meet the educational requirements for licensure.
b. Equivalent Degrees
For all applications received on or after January 1, 2001, the Board no longer has the authority to review degrees for equivalency. Therefore, all applicants applying for licensure on or after January 1, 2001, must possess one of the three degrees named in Section 2914 of the Code.
c. Foreign Degrees
Section 2914(b) of the Code states that applicants with degrees from schools outside the United States and Canada must provide the board with a comprehensive evaluation of the degree performed by a foreign credential evaluation service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), and any other documentation the board deems necessary.
3. SUPERVISED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS
Section 2914 of the Code and Section 1387 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR) require two years (3,000 hours) of supervised professional experience, at least 1,500 of which must be completed post-doctorally. The supervision requirements are complex. To avoid problems, you must understand them prior to starting supervision. In many instances, registration with the Board is required. Failure to register when registration is required will result in the Board's refusal to accept your supervised experience and possible referral to the District Attorney for unlicensed practice. A supervision agreement form and plan must be signed by the primary supervisor and supervisee prior to the commencement of the experience. Failure to sign an agreement could result in the denial of the experience. Please consult with your primary supervisor, review all appropriate documents or consult with Board staff to ensure you are proceeding properly.
You may function as an intern without registration if enrolled in a doctoral program which includes a formal internship placement pursuant to Section 2911 of the Code which is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), or is a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC), or the California Psychology Internship Council (CAPIC). All other requirements of Section 1387 of the CCR must be met in order for your hours to count toward the licensure requirements.
b. Exempt Settings
You are not required to register with the Board if you are employed directly by an educational institution (approved or accredited) a school district or a governmental entity (federal, state, county, municipal, etc.), or if you were functioning under a waiver issued by the following departments: the California Department of Health Care Services pursuant to Welfare & Institutions Code Section 5751.2, the California Department of Public Health pursuant to Health & Safety Code Section 1277, or the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation pursuant to Penal Code Section 5068.5. NOTE: All requirements of Section 1387 of the CCR must be met in order for your hours to count toward the licensure requirements.
c. Post-doctoral Training Programs
You may function as an intern in a formal post-doctoral training program to Section 2911 of the Code which is accredited by the APA, or is a member of APPIC or CAPIC. Board registration is not required. All other requirements of Section 1387 of the CCR must be met in order for your hours to count toward the licensure requirements
d. All Other Experience
Except as enumerated in a, b and c above, everyone accruing supervised professional experience in California must register with the Board prior to beginning work. Supervised experience earned outside of California does not require registration, but must comply with all other requirements set forth in Section 1387 of the CCR.
e. Types of Registration
Most individuals will need to register as psychological assistants. However, if you already have a doctorate degree with 1,500 hours of supervised experience and plan to work for a non-profit community agency which receives 25% or more of its funding from governmental sources (not counting Medi-Cal or Medicare), you must register for employment as a registered psychologist under Section 2909(d) of the Code.
The California Psychology Licensing Law requires all applicants to take and pass the national Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and the California Psychology Laws and Ethics Examination (CPLEE). Both examinations are computer-administered and are available for qualified applicants continuously at testing sites located throughout the state.
The EPPP is a computer administered examination that consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. Applicants have 4-hours and 15-minutes to complete the exam. The EPPP is developed and maintained by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. The EPPP is available for administration at Pearson VUE testing sites throughout North America. In California, applicants can take the EPPP once they have completed a qualifying doctorate degree and completed at least 1,500 hours of qualifying supervised professional experience. More information on the EPPP can be found by contacting www.asppb.net.
The CPLEE is a computer administered examination that consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. Applicants have 2-hours and 30-minutes to complete the exam. The CPLEE is developed and maintained by the Office of Professional Examinations Services of the Department of Consumer Affairs. The CPLEE is available at Psychological Services, Inc. (PSI) testing sites throughout California with a few locations outside of California. Applicants can take the CPLEE once they have completed a qualifying doctorate degree, completed all 3,000 hours of qualifying supervised professional experience and have passed the EPPP. Those applicants that meet one of the requirements listed in Section 1388.6 of the CCR will qualify to take the CPLEE. More information on the CPLEE can be found on the board's web site www.psychology.ca.gov.
5. FURTHER INFORMATION
You can receive further information on the details of the licensing requirements by visiting the Board's website at www.psychology.ca.gov. On the website, you can link to the Laws and Regulations Relating to the Practice of Psychology as well as to other valuable resources relating to licensure and the examinations. All of the Board's applications can be downloaded from the website as well. You can also apply for licensure online using the BreEZe System: http://www.psychology.ca.gov/about_us/breeze.shtml. If you would like to speak to a staff member directly, please call the Board's Licensing Desk at (916) 574-7720, option 2, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.